Educational Zone #108 – Wolf Gold, .32 ACP Ammo Evaluation

This will be a short report, because there isn’t much to say.

Here is the pistol.

It is a KelTec P-32, which fires the .32 ACP cartridge.

The reason for this pistol is that it is very small and can be carried very easily.

It is usually used as a Back Up Gun (BUG). It is not anywhere close to a real fighting handgun and the caliber is very weak for a centerfire cartridge.

But it is better than a sharp stick.

I usually carry this cartridge in it, the Winchester 71 grain Truncated Cone cartridge.

Why not a Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP)?

Well, because in this small round, JHPs will often fail to expand, and even if they do expand, that will often cause them to fail to reach the FBI standard of 12 inches minimum penetration.

I would rather hit a vital organ with a truncated cone bullet, than have a JHP fail to penetrate deeply enough.


My friend Joe bought some Wolf Gold, .32 ACP, 71 grain, Round Nose FMJ bullets.

He only wanted these for target practice and thought the less-expensive Wolf ammo would be all right for such use. We were to see otherwise.

The rounds were noticeably weak when shot.

You could tell from the report and recoil that they were unusually weak.

But the biggest problem was that they were so weak that they would not cycle the action on the pistol.


Now this pistol runs 100% with the Winchester ammo, but these Wolf rounds would not even completely open the action and eject the spent rounds.

In addition, we both felt powder and gas blow back when we shot the pistol and theorized that it was because of a failure of the brass cases to completely seal the chamber and that allowed gases to blow back past the cases.

I have experienced this same problem, to a lesser extent, with Wolf steel cased .30 carbine ammo, here: Wolf .30 Carbine Ammo. At least I could shoot those rounds in my Ruger .30 carbine revolver, but there is no other use for the .32 Auto rounds.

By the way, I shoot a lot of Wolf ammo in other calibers and have no problem with it, so I am not prejudiced against Wolf ammo.

1. Cheap ammo is not always worth even the lesser price.

2. Having to hand-cycle ammo kind of spoils a shooting session.

3. I cannot recommend Wolf Gold .32 Auto, even for practice.

1 Comment on Educational Zone #108 – Wolf Gold, .32 ACP Ammo Evaluation

  1. Outpost75 // May 17, 2016 at 1:56 pm // Reply

    I recently tested WW2 German, steel cased, Geco Berdan-primed 7.65 Browning (aka. 32 ACP) ammo, from the estate of a WW2 vet. All of it went bang! And hit the 6″ gongs on the dueling tree at 10 meters. Velocities were impressive compared to today’s wimpy “lawyer” ammo, considering it was loaded with a 5 gram (77- grain) FMJ bullet. Velocity from the Nazi-marked CZ27 pistol it was packed with, was 981 fps, 17Sd over an 8 shot string. Velocity from my Beretta Model 3032 Inox Tomcat with 2.4″ barrel, was 907 fps, 14 Sd. These velocities compare to modern RWS and Fiocchi 73-grain hardball, but do so with a slightly heavier 77-grain bullet. My shooting buddy “ER Doc” says that many patients have come across his operating table who have been shot with .32 ACP. He says that FMJ rounds “bounce around inside the body cavity like a billiard ball.” They do damage out of proportion to their energy, because these bullets typically tumble, making a 180 degree flip and then continue base-first. The light recoil of .32s makes accurate double or triple taps possible in 2 seconds or so, which partly compensates for lower kinetic energy. Reliable “rat, tat, tat” feeding, easily controlled, repetitive shot placement or “burst on target” with confident deep penetration of CIP-Euro hardball inspires more confidence to him than light-weight JHP “Jam-O-Matics” which dissipate their energy in penetrating a sternum or defensively positioned arm, lacking further resolve to bounce around inside the body cavity a couple times…”

    While a .32 ACP is never your first choice if expecting trouble, any gun is better than not having one at all. That is exactly they sell so many Keltecs and Beretta Tomcats, to avoid the temptation to go unarmed when discreet vigilance is better.

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